Paradoxurus zeylonensis is found in south and southeast Asia, specifically in Sri Lanka and Ceylon. (Ellerman 1966, Macdonald 1985, Parker 1990)
Biogeographic Regions: palearctic (Native )
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry
Paradoxurus zeylonensis is mainly arboreal, keeping mostly to large tree branches. They have been observed to sleep in the roof of bungalows adjacent to the jungle and in hollow tree branches. (Phillips 1935)
Habitat and Ecology
The golden palm civet is mainly frugivorous, with preferences for mango, coffee, melon, pineapple and bananas. This species has also been observed to eat small mammals, birds, snakes, lizards, frogs, moths, and other insects when it is able to catch them. (Anderson 1984, Parker 1990, Phillips 1935)
Life History and Behavior
Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical
Very little is known about the reproduction of P. zeylonensis. Young have been found in October and November, and so it is thought that reproduction occurs in the latter months of the year. It is also thought that females may have more than one litter per year. Two or three young are produced in each litter. The gestation period and life span of this species are unknown, as are the ages of weaning and sexual maturity. (Anderson 1984, Parker 1990, Phillips 1935)
Key Reproductive Features: gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: vulnerable
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
The golden palm civet's habit of roosting in the roof of bungalows located near the edge of the jungle may be annoying to humans, but no damage by these creatures was reported. The frugivorous habits of P. zeylonensis may be destructive if these animals live near land where fruits eaten by this species are being raised as crops (bananas, mangos, etc). However, this was not mentioned to be a large problem in any of the literature found on this species. (Phillips 1935)
As the young are easily tamed, although no detailed information was given on any tamed animals. (Phillips 1935)
Golden palm civet
The golden palm civet (Paradoxurus zeylonensis) is a palm civet endemic to Sri Lanka. It is listed as Vulnerable by IUCN because it occurs in less than 20,000 km2 (7,700 sq mi), its distribution is severely fragmented, and the extent and quality of its habitat in Sri Lanka's hill regions are declining.
The golden palm civet is brown on the upper side, but individually variable from dark sepia to ochreous, rusty or golden-brown. The tips of the contour hairs are frequently lustrous, sometimes greyish. The legs are about the same tint as the back, but the tail and the face are sometimes noticeably paler, buffy-grey. The face does not have a pattern, and the vibrissae are dirty white. The hair in front of the shoulders radiates from two whorls and grows forward along the sides of the neck and the nape to the head. It also grows forward on the fore throat, radiating from a single whorl. The dorsal pattern consists of faint bands and spots that are slightly darker than the ground colour. The lower side is slightly paler and sometimes greyer than the upper.
The golden palm civet has two morphs — one golden and one dark brown, both of which are recorded from Sri Lanka. In 2009, several museum specimens were studied, and on this basis it was suggested to split these color morphs into separate species:
- the golden wet-zone palm civet Paradoxurus aureus,
- the Sri Lankan brown palm civet Paradoxurus montanus, and
- the golden dry-zone palm civet Paradoxurus stenocephalus.
Distribution and habitat
Ecology and behaviour
The golden palm civet is forest-dependent, yet tolerant of minor habitat modification where some continuous forest remains. It is arboreal, nocturnal, and solitary; its diet consists of fruits, berries, invertebrates, and a wide range of small vertebrates.
In Sri Lanka the golden palm civet is called Pani uguduwa පැනි උගුඩුවා, Sapumal kalawaddhaසපුමල් කලවැද්දා, or Ranhothambuwa රන් හොතබුවා/Hotambuwa හොතබුවා, by the Sinhala speaking community. Both golden and Asian palm civet are sometimes collectively called kalawedda in Sinhala and maranai (மரநாய்) in Tamil.
- Wozencraft, W. C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 551. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
- Muddappa, D., Wozencraft, C., Yonzon, P., Jennings, A. , Veron, G. (2008). "Paradoxurus zeylonensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature.
- Groves, C. P.; Rajapaksha, C.; Manemandra-Arachchi, K. (2009). "The taxonomy of the endemic golden palm civet of Sri Lanka". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 155: 238–251. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2008.00451.x.
- Pocock, R. I. (1939). The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Mammalia. – Volume 1. Taylor and Francis, London. Pp. 381–383.
- Schreiber, A., Wirth, R., Riffel, M. and Van Rompaey, H. (1989). Weasels, civets, mongooses, and their relatives. An Action Plan for the conservation of mustelids and viverrids. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
- Golden Palm Cat Stamp
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